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Barcelona Test Day one: Maldonado's Boost for Lotus

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Barcelona Test Day one: Maldonado's Boost for Lotus
Feb 19, 2015, 8:10 PM

Pastor Maldonado gave the Lotus team a much needed tonic by topping the times at the end of the first day of testing in Barcelona.

Pastor Maldonado gave the Lotus team a much needed tonic by topping the times at the end of the first day of testing in Barcelona.

But there was drama for McLaren and Mercedes who endured problematic days with contrasting issues, while Susie Wolff and Felipe Nasr were delayed after colliding on track.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain

Illness and injury severely compromised Mercedes's running as Lewis Hamilton was forced to cry off with just 11 laps completed.  The world champion is suffering from a high fever and 'flu-like' symptoms and is now in a race against time to be fit enough to resume duties on Saturday.

Nico Rosberg was not available to take over when Hamilton stopped as he is suffering from a trapped nerve and a decision about his participation tomorrow remains "open" according to the team.

The upshot was that reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein was recalled to the squad after turning 32 laps in the 2014 Force India. Wehrlein failed to better his best Force India time in the current Mercedes.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain

McLaren's testing woes continued in northern Spain as the Honda powered machine finished testing before lunch when a faulty seal in the MGU-K failed leading to a terminal engine problem.

Up until then it had been an encouraging outing for Jenson Button who ended the day seventh fastest having racked up just 21 laps. He was sixth fastest of the ten car/driver combinations after the morning's activity.

McLaren are rushing a replacement part to Spain in time for Saturday's testing and have switched Fernando Alonso in to the car for tomorrow's sessions to reduce the chance of both of Button's test days being compromised.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain

Maldonado bolted on Pirelli's soft tyre to help him to top spot in the afternoon after his morning's work was interrupted by a couple of red flag stoppages which the team put down to 'sensor issues.'

The Venezuelan was just over 15 hundredths faster than Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, the latter making do with medium tyres for his fastest run on another good day for the Maranello squad, which is beginning to emerge as the second force behind Mercedes, but it is still early days. Maldonado commented afterwards that the softs are around two seconds a lap faster than the mediums, to put it into context.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain

Daniel Ricciardo's first test day for Red Bull produced third fastest time after he had spent most of the morning doing one-lap runs with plenty of sensor equipment attached.

But he admitted afterwards that the Renault engine is still not where the team was hoping it would be,

"We are not where we want to be yet with engine and driveability," he said. "But at the same time we didn't expect to be there yet. Some others are a bit further up for now, but come Melbourne we will be there."

Sergio Perez was hastily installed in the Force India for the afternoon and he managed fourth fastest time as the team comes to terms with the 2015 Pirellis.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain

Susie Wolff ended the day with the second highest lap tally and her total of 86 tours would have been higher had she not missed an hour while her Williams was repaired following on an on track clash with the Sauber of Felipe Nasr.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain

Nasr was fastest in the morning and also managed a high lap count on an encouraging day for Sauber. He finished the day fifth fastest.

Max Verstappen was busiest of all, his Renault-powered Toro Rosso carrying the teenager around the Spanish Grand Prix venue 94 times and to sixth-fastest time, 2.8s adrift of Maldonado's best.

Barcelona Test – Day One

1 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:25.011s 69

2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:25.167s  +0.156 74

3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:25.547s  +0.536 59

4 Sergio Perez Force India 1:26.636s  +1.625 34

5 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:27.307s  +2.296 79

6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:27.900s  +2.889 94

7 Jenson Button McLaren 1:28.182s  +3.171 21

8 Pascal Wehrlein Force India 1:28.329s  +3.318 32

9 Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1:28.489s  +3.478 48

10 Susie Wolff Williams 1:28.906s  +3.895 86

11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.429s +5.418 11
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Despite an incident, Sauber's Nasr has a positive test day at Circuit de Catalunya

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Hamilton and Wehrlein double up on eventful opening day for Mercedes in Spain

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